ABOUT OAK FOREST RECOVERY

RJ ELIZARRAZ
FOUNDER & CEO

RJ’S CONTINUING MISSION IS TO PROVIDE MORE AND BETTER SUPPORT TO PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.

Rj headshot

BACKGROUND

RJ GREW UP IN THE CONEJO VALLEY REGION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JUST NORTH OF LOS ANGELES. HE WAS RAISED IN A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT BY LOVING AND SUCCESSFUL PARENTS. BY THE TIME HE WAS 17, HE HAD BEEN EXPELLED FROM SEVERAL HIGH SCHOOLS. 2 YEARS LATER, HE WAS A FULL TIME DRUG ADDICT. OVER THE NEXT DECADE, A LONG SLOW DRUG INDUCED DECLINE FINALLY ENDED IN HOMELESSNESS. WHEN HE FINALLY HIT BOTTOM, HIS FRIENDS HAD GIVEN UP ON HIM AND HIS FAMILY WAS EXHAUSTED. HE TURNED HIS LIFE AROUND BY DOING EVERYTHING HIS MIND TO TOLD HIM TO RESIST. HE OPENED HIMSELF UP TO A NEW WAY OF LIVING. HE SOUGHT OUT OTHERS WHO HAD GOTTEN CLEAN & SOBER AND FOLLOWED THEIR ADVICE. HE JOINED A 12 STEP PROGRAM AND MADE IT HIS NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. IN THE PROCESS, A MIRACLE OCCURRED IN HIS LIFE. HIS OLD SENSE OF SELF OBSESSION GAVE WAY TO A NEW PURPOSE OF HELPING OTHERS. HE BECAME COMPLETELY COMMITTED TO SEEING OTHERS RECOVER THE WAY HE DID. HIS FIRST VENTURE WAS A HIGH STRUCTURE MEN’S SOBER LIVING. THE SUCCESS OF THAT HOME LEAD TO A WOMEN’S SOBER LIVING. AND THEN A THIRD SOBER LIVING WHICH CONSISTS OF 3 HOUSES ON ONE PROPERTY - ALL GENDER SPECIFIC. HE NOW OVERSEES THE OPERATION OF 5 SOBER LIVING HOMES IN THE AGOURA/WESTLAKE/THOUSAND OAKS AREA. TO GIVE EVEN MORE HELP TO PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION ISSUES, HE OPENED A PHP/IOP TREATMENT CENTER IN AGOURA/WESTLAKE. RJ’S CONTINUING MISSION IS TO PROVIDE MORE AND BETTER SUPPORT TO PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.

DR. PATRICK LOCKWOOD
COO & LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST (PSY29866)

BACKGROUND

DR. PATRICK LOCKWOOD GREW UP IN A SMALL SOUTHERN MISSOURI TOWN, ENCULTURATED WITH CLASSICAL SOUTHERN AND MIDWESTERN VALUES LIKE HONESTY, INTEGRITY, AND THE “NEIGHBORLY” WAY OF RELATING TO PEOPLE. HE COMPLETED HIS B.A. IN PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, THEN MOVED TO L.A. TO EARN HIS DOCTORATE OF PSYCHOLOGY AT TCSPP.


DR. LOCKWOOD HAS WORKED FOR NON-PROFITS, TREATMENT CENTERS, AND HAS BEEN A PART OF A NUMBER OF STARTUPS OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS. HIS BACKGROUND IN COMMUNITY INTERVENTIONS BEGAN BEFORE HE EVEN GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI WHERE HE SUCCESSFULLY CO-AUTHORED A GRANT CREATING A VIRTUAL INTERVENTION TO HELP PARENTS ON CAMPUS BECOME MORE CONNECTED AND DEVELOP A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY WHILE WORKING AT PARENTLINK, A DIVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF EDUCATION.

DR. LOCKWOOD HAS TRAINED WITH EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF ADDICTION TREATMENT AND HAS WORKED AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE TREATMENT INDUSTRY. HE IS CURRENTLY AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, TEACHING FUTURE CLINICIANS ABOUT CLINICAL SKILLS, ADDICTION, AND RESEARCH ANALYSIS. HE ALSO HAS A PODCAST ON YOUTUBE ABOUT TOPICS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH, WELLNESS, PSYCHOLOGY, AND NEUROSCIENCE CALLED “THE PSYCHOLOGY CHECKUP.” FINALLY, DR. LOCKWOOD IS THE AUTHOR OF “THE FEAR PROBLEM,” A BOOK INTEGRATING THE NEUROSCIENCE AND EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY OF OUR FEAR PROCESS TO EXPLAIN WHY WE GET TRIGGERED BY POLITICS AND OTHER “HOT TOPICS.”

BRIANA JACQUET-JAMES, LCSW CLINICAL DIRECTOR

THE GOAL OF OUR CLINICAL PROGRAM IS TO HELP CLIENTS CHANGE HOW THEY THINK AND ACT SO THEY CAN STOP PATTERNS OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR (AS WELL AS THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE IT CREATES) AND BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER OF LIFE THAT IS CENTERED AROUND HEALTHY WAYS OF THINKING, LIVING AND BEING.

Briana Jacquet-James

BACKGROUND

BRIE JACQUET, LCSW IS THE CLINICAL DIRECTOR AT OAK FOREST RECOVERY CENTER AND HAS BEEN PART OF THE OFR TEAM SINCE APRIL 2021. BRIE EARNED HER BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY WITH A MINOR IN ETHNIC AND WOMEN'S STUDIES FROM CAL POLY POMONA. SHE BEGAN HER CAREER AS A VOLUNTEER IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EMERGENCY SHELTER, AND EVENTUALLY WAS HIRED AS A RESIDENTIAL COUNSELOR. DURING THIS TIME, BRIE WORKED ON A 24-HOUR EMERGENCY HOTLINE AND ACQUIRED EXPERIENCE IN CRISIS INTERVENTION AND GROUP FACILITATION. THE HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH THE SURVIVORS AT THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER INSPIRED BRIE TO PURSUE A MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ADULT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS. SHE ATTENDED THE SUZANNE DWORAK-PECK SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK AT USC AND COMPLETED HER CLINICAL PRACTICUM AT A DUAL-DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT CENTER IN MALIBU OFFERING SERVICES RANGING FROM DETOXIFICATION TO OUTPATIENT. NOT ONLY DID SHE DEVELOP A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMPLEX NATURE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND CO-OCCURRING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, SHE ALSO GREW TO CONNECT WITH THE STRENGTH AND PERSEVERANCE OF THE POPULATION.


AFTER GRADUATING WITH HER MSW, BRIE WORKED AT ANOTHER TREATMENT CENTER IN MALIBU OFFERING ALL LEVELS OF CARE. SHE FIRST HELD A POSITION AS CASE MANAGER AND HELPED CLIENTS FORMULATE AFTERCARE PLANS WITH THE AIM OF SUPPORTING THEM IN EARLY SOBRIETY. BRIE QUICKLY MOVED ON TO PRACTICING THERAPY AND RECEIVED TRAINING IN THE TRAUMA-FOCUSED PRACTICE OF EMDR. HER CLINICAL FOCUS BECAME TREATING THE UNDERLYING TRAUMA THAT OFTEN INFORMED THE DEVELOPMENT OF ADDICTION AND ASSOCIATED PSYCHOSOCIAL PROBLEMS. BRIE ALSO HELD AN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION AS PROGRAM MANAGER AT THE SAME FACILITY AND DEVELOPED THE COMPETENCIES NECESSARY TO MANAGE TREATMENT FACILITIES AT ALL LEVELS OF CARE. AS PROGRAM MANAGER, BRIE GREW HER INTEREST IN PEOPLE MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT WHILE HOLDING THE POSITION OF FIELD INSTRUCTOR FOR MSW GRADUATE STUDENT INTERNS AT USC.

BRIE BEGAN WORKING AT OAK FOREST RECOVERY CENTER AS A CLINICAL SUPERVISOR AND HAS SINCE GROWN TO FULFILL THE ROLE OF CLINICAL DIRECTOR. HER EXPERIENCE AS A CLINICIAN, ADMINISTRATOR, SUPERVISOR, AND MANAGER EQUIP HER WITH THE SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY TO FULFILL THIS LEADERSHIP ROLE. BRIE REGARDS OAK FOREST RECOVERY CENTER AS A SPACE THAT NOT ONLY PROVIDES EFFECTIVE CLINICAL TREATMENT, BUT ALSO AS A COMMUNITY THAT RESTORES CONNECTION AND RELATIONSHIP TO THOSE WHO PREVIOUSLY LACKED THAT BASIC HUMAN NEED.

KARINA SANTILLO
MA LMFT – CLINICAL DIRECTOR

THE GOAL OF OUR CLINICAL PROGRAM IS TO HELP CLIENTS CHANGE HOW THEY THINK AND ACT SO THEY CAN STOP PATTERNS OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR (AS WELL AS THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE IT CREATES) AND BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER OF LIFE THAT IS CENTERED AROUND HEALTHY WAYS OF THINKING, LIVING AND BEING.

02_KARINA

BACKGROUND

KARINA EARNED HER BACHELOR’S DEGREE FROM UCLA. AFTER GRADUATING, SHE SPENT SEVERAL YEARS BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AND RAISING A FAMILY. DURING THAT TIME, SHE FACED CONSISTENT INTERPERSONAL CHALLENGES AND ABRUPT LIFE DISTURBANCES. AS SHE DID HER OWN WORK TO BRING HOPE, BALANCE AND JOY BACK INTO HER LIFE, SHE REALIZED THAT HER TRUE CALLING WAS TO HELP OTHERS OVERCOME THE KINDS OF LIFE DIFFICULTIES AS SHE HAD ENDURED. AS PART OF HER OWN PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION, KARINA RETURNED TO SCHOOL AND EARNED A MASTER’S DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY FROM PHILLIPS GRADUATE INSTITUTE IN 2012. AS A LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST, SHE SPECIALIZED IN WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES IN CRISIS, COUPLES DEALING WITH HIGHLY CONFLICTUAL MARITAL PROBLEMS AND INDIVIDUALS PROCESSING TRAUMA AND LOSS. WHILE SHE WAS A PRIVATE PRACTITIONER, KARINA ALSO SERVED HER COMMUNITY THROUGH WORK FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS.

DR. ROBERT RYMOWICZ PSYCHIATRIST

RESEARCH INTO DUAL DIAGNOSIS CONDITIONS HAS INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE PAST 2 DECADES. DR. RYMOWICZ IS PASSIONATE ABOUT TREATING PATIENTS WHO ARE AT HIGHEST RISK SUFFERING FROM OR DEVELOPING THIS DISORDER.

BACKGROUND

ROBERT RYMOWICZ IS FELLOW IN ADDICTION PSYCHIATRY AT UCLA DAVID GEFFEN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, AN APA/APAF LEADERSHIP FELLOW SERVING ON COUNCIL ON ADDICTION PSYCHIATRY, AND A TRAINEE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ADDICTION PSYCHIATRY. ROBERT ATTENDED MEDICAL SCHOOL AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES, AND SERVED THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF PSYCHSIGN, THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRY ASSOCIATION'S MEDICAL STUDENT ORGANIZATION. HE COMPLETED HIS PSYCHIATRY RESIDENCY TRAINING AT RUTGERS NEW JERSEY MEDICAL SCHOOL, WHERE HE SERVED AS A VICE-PRESIDENT WITH THE COMMITTEE OF INTERNS AND RESIDENTS, REPRESENTING ALL UNIONIZED PROGRAMS IN NEW JERSEY, AND AS CHIEF RESIDENT IN PSYCHIATRY IN HIS SENIOR YEAR.

TREATMENT PHILOSOPHY

DR. RYMOWICZ’S EXPERIENCE IS THAT, IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, CONSERVATIVE APPROACHES TO PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS COMBINED WITH THERAPY AND HOLISTIC HEALING MODALITIES GIVES DUAL DIAGNOSIS PATIENTS THE BEST CHANCE AT RECOVERY

DR. RYMOWICZ’S GOALS FOR CLIENTS

DR. RYMOWICZ ’S GOAL IS TO HELP PATIENTS REGAIN PROPER BALANCE IN THE CHEMISTRY OF THE BRAIN AND RESTORE OPTIMAL FUNCTIONING. IN MOST CASES HE PREFERS CONSERVATIVE APPROACH TO USING MEDICATIONS HELPS TO CONTROL SYMPTOMS AND ENCOURAGING PATIENTS TO EMBRACE ADJUNCTIVE THERAPIES IN ORDER TO HEAL.

MARISSA SHIFFER, AMFT
THERAPIST

DEBRA THOMAS , LMFT #133079
THERAPIST

AL BOWER
COUNSELOR

JERRY SPADES
OUTREACH & FAMILY SUPPORT

KEVIN DUNN
ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR

KATRINA BERMAN
ADMISSIONS & OUTREACH LIAISON

CHRISTOPHER STITES
OPERATIONS MANAGER

EMMA SPALDING
ACCOUNTANT

RYAN MACKEY
HOUSE MANAGER

LYNN AUSTIN
BEHAVIORAL TECHNICIAN

SAVANNAH GARCIA
BEHAVIORAL TECHNICIAN

CASSIDY PARNELL
BEHAVIORAL TECHNICIAN

ZACHARY ZACCARO
BEHAVIORAL TECHNICIAN